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Rod Review

Fish confidently with the extendable AiRRUS Spectra AFT baitcast rod

Date: 1/14/05
Tackle type: Rod
Manufacturer: AiRRUS
Reviewer: JIP

Total Score: 8.83

Introduction: Designed by AiRRUS, the Spectra AFT baitcast rod is truly inventive, and the unique material used in the rod's construction delivers many benefits to anglers. Thanks to innovative use of Spectra fibers the AiRRUS rod is comfortable to fish, sensitive, and extremely solid. 


AiRRUS Spectra AFT(SPC701MH-AFT) Specifications

Material Multi-modulus graphite
Length 7'
Grip Length 9" + 4" extension (removable)
Line Weight 12-25 lb
Lure Weight 1/4-3/4 oz
Pieces 1
Power Medium-Heavy
Action Fast
Color Dark Green
Weight (measured) 7.5 oz (5.9 oz without extension)
MSRP $149.95


Spectra fibers are bonded into this innovative design to enhance the rod's performance


Impressions: The Spectra AFT blank is dark green and the butt section is stunning when light reflects off of it. In the butt section you can see how the rod was wound by observing darker and lighter greens.  The 7' Spectra AFT rod features a good 9 inches of handle which is half Hypalon with a modified Comfort Grip and half cork. Plus this series comes with a 4 inch extension overlaid with Hypalon which delivers unique ergonomics which we will cover later. In addition the SPC701MH-AFT model sports 10 Fuji Alconite guides and an exposed blank reel seat for greater sensitivity and cast control.


The Spectra AFT rod's handle is something else.  The re-engineered Comfort Grip with Hypalon and the 4 inch extension really helps


Spectra: Spectra fibers are widely used today in many applications including armor, aerospace, high-performance sporting goods, and much more. Spectra is super-fine, super-strong, and extremely lightweight.  These fibers are stronger and lighter than most commercial high-modulus fibers and has among the highest strength to weight ratio of any manmade fiber. They are also resistant to chemicals, water, and UV light. In addition, this material is effective at dampening continuous oscillations. Today Spectra fibers are used in constructing a few fishing products such as braided lines and of course the AiRRUS Spectra AFT rod where it adds strength while increasing sensitivity without any noticeable weight gain.


Spectra fiber is a great material to build something out of, but bonding it to graphite was a challenge that AiRRUS was able to overcome


The Design: Designing the AiRRUS Spectra AFT series of rods took over 2 years to design. The Spectra AFT rod combines Spectra fibers and high-modulus graphite that makes up the filament wound butt section of this rod. But bonding these two materials together wasn't an easy process. But because of Mr. Whiting's past experience with exotic materials and after some plasma treatment and surface modifications, AiRRUS was able to create a solid bond between multiple materials and the Spectra AFT was born.


Complete Rig for Spectra AFT Tests

Rod AiRRUS Spectra AFT (SPC701MH-AFT)
Reels Quantum Energy PT (E600PT)
Quantum Cabo PT (CBC30PTs)
Lines 20 lb Maxima Ultragreen
20 lb Sufix Tritanium Plus
50 lb Power Pro


Field Tests: Usually when we conduct real world tests, we like to put the product up against multiple types of fish, especially ones that take it to the limits. While the AiRRUS rod was designed primarily for bass fishing, we thought it can handle much more than that. So throughout the Summer months to now, we put the Spectra AFT up against bass in local lakes and the California Delta, rockcod fishing in the Pacific Ocean, trolling for landlocked stripers, and sturgeon fishing in the San Francisco Bay.


JIP conducts double handed casts in open water

Casting: Casting lures of many sizes come easy with the Spectra rod.  Using the AiRRUS rod to pitch is excellent, but do so only with the 4 inch extension in place or it will not be balanced for pitching. If you're tossing lures such as spinnerbaits or crankbaits using a sidearm cast to obtain that precise placement remove the extension or it will get in the way during your swing. Removing the extra Hypalon handle section is quick and if you do accidentally drop it in the water it will float.


Casting up close is accurate and controlled, and the modified Hypalon Comfort Grip and the four inch extension made it effortless to make double handed casts. The new Comfort Grip is engineered for a comfortable and sure grip for those hard-whipping double handed swings. The Hypalon is a great material to grip onto when casting because it's soft yet firm and will not easily slip out of your hands, even when wet.  We conducted a series of double handed cast using irons and other large lures for largemouth bass and stripers with great success and concluded that this is one of the best grips to have for such applications.


The AiRRUS rod sports a 4 inch handle extension that provides great balance when pitching and flipping, and also gives supportive leverage when fishing larger fish

Sensitivity: If you compare the sensitivity on the Co-MATRiX and the Spectra AFT baitcasting rod as we did in our lab and field tests, the SPC701MH-AFT would come out with better transmissions. Why? That's a good question especially when in the Spectra section above we mentioned that Spectra is a good dampening material used in bulletproof vests, submarines, and other insulations to reduce noise. This is what we've found. Spectra is great at reducing noise from continuous oscillations but will still transmit the hits and thumps that occur while you're fishing. Also the Spectra fibers are only used in the lower butt section of the rod, which is only about 1/3 of the entire rod length. The graphite tip section and rod guides, still act as the antennas to transmit each vibration down to your hands. It feels like the harder and more solid butt section actually becomes a better transmitter than a softer material would be. In addition, if you think about braided lines such as PowerPro and P-Line's Spectrex IV, these are composed of Spectra fibers and are extremely sensitive even deep down. With a graphite plus Spectra construction, the AiRRUS Spectra AFT rod does a good job at delivering vibrations to your sensors for a quick hookset when strikes are detected.


The AiRRUS Spectra baitcast rod is powerful and sensitive.  After detecting hits you can yank a bass out of cover with confidence

Power: If this rod wasn't powerful, we wouldn't have used it for anything other than bass fishing. The AiRRUS Spectra AFT went through a series of hard hitting and tugging fish that really put it through the paces. This rod is resilient thanks for the filament wound butt section that contains Spectra fibers. This solid butt section is awesome when making commanding hooksets especially deep down when we were fishing for rockcod over 80 feet below. It also gives great support when fighting larger species of fish and as they run, you can hold onto the Spectra AFT with confidence.


Durability: The AiRRUS Spectra AFT baitcast rod is also excellent in terms durability. It has a solid construction through its filament wound process and further reinforced with Spectra fibers. Spectra fibers are lightweight and resistant to harsh foreign particles. Like the Co-MATRiX rod that we reviewed in the past, the SPC701MH-AFT's Hypalon grip remains as good as new even after much use. We've noticed that the Hypalon material does not degrade nearly as fast as cork does, and resists damage from anglers and the elements equally well.


This rod can handle even inshore saltwater species by trolling for wandering fish to dunking bait for bottom feeders


Application: Even though the Spectra rod was design for avid bass anglers, we tested this AiRRUS rod on both freshwater and saltwater species that we thought this rod was capable of handling. A great freshwater rod for bass fishing, we can honestly say it can rough it with the bigger boys tackling stripers, carp, catfish, and more. Inshore anglers will also find this rod capable of handling species they target ranging from snook, redfish, rockfish, and even used as a light-tackle sturgeon stick. The 4 inch extension assists in leverage and those double handed casts when tossing larger lures for larger species. This Spectra rod is tough enough for many applications and with its permanence, you can hunt multiple species with assurance.

AiRRUS Spectra AFT(SPC701MH-AFT) Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Constructed using sure bonding processes, this rod is armor-tough and is well put together.  Its durability is excellent thanks to the filament wound and Spectra fibers 9
Performance The rod performs well in many categories from accurate casts to powerful hooksets.  The Hypalon grip provide a greater hold, and an extension assists in those double handed casts 9
Price An innovative rod that uses a special bonding process and Spectra fibers that make it truly unique, but still maintains a good price point 8.5
Features This rod features Spectra fibers and uses AiRRUS's filament wound process that enhances its overall performance, especially in power and a sound construction.  The rod also features a re-engineered Hypalon grip and an extension for balance and those double handed casts 9
Design (Ergonomics) The overall weight of the rod is heavier than other rods, but is well balanced and very comfortable to have in hand 8.5
Application A great rod for its intended design, but can tackle much more from larger freshwater species to inshore saltwater game 9

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Armor-tough construction L Overall weight is heavier than other rods
J Capable of freshwater and inshore species  
J Comfortable handle with a nice extension  
J Well balanced  

Conclusion: AiRRUS has always been very innovative when it comes to constructing distinct rods for fishermen. They have created and patented some rod building processes that elevate raw performance.  The Spectra AFT baitcast rod doesn't come short of their game plan as it incorporates Spectra fibers to enhance the overall performance of the SPC701MH-AFT. This baitcast rod is sensitive, controllable, and powerful enough to handle many freshwater and saltwater inshore species of fish. The AiRRUS rod is comfortable to grasp thanks to the Hypalon grips and overall a very well balanced design. The 4 inch handle extension allows double handed casts when tossing larger lures, further increasing its operating range. Since the rod is capable of so many applications, this is a great choice for those anglers wanting a rod that can handle multiple species including bass, redfish, stripers, and rockfish.









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